Abandoned buildings make for eerie The Near and the Elsewhere at PM Gallery and House

By Ruth Hazard | 16 January 2012
A PHOTO OF A burnt out house under fog with a red exterior
Greg Girard, House on Huashan Lu, North View, Lane 322, Huashan Lu (2005)© Courtesy Monte Clark Gallery, Vancouver/Toronto
Exhibition: The Near and the Elsewhere, PM Gallery and House, London, January 25 – March 17 2012

Combining photography, painting, film and installation, The Near and the Elsewhere explores the stories behind the buildings abandoned during the global economic downturn.

Recording unsuccessful commercial ventures and the resultant empty spaces, the exhibition draws together the work of renowned artists from across the world to look at buildings that no longer fulfil the purpose for their creation.

Peter Piller and Noel Jabbour use documentary photography to record a culture of wastage and excess, while Gaia Persico's urban landscape drawings show densely populated areas, now isolated.

The exhibition also features Edgar Martin's picture series for the New York Times, This is not a House, and Gregor Graf's photographs of half-constructed homes, deserted and gone wild.

Greg Girad's haunting images of Shanghai are key to the exhibition, the growing metropolis visualising the threat of neon development in engulfing traditional homes.

As well as looking at abandoned architecture, the shots also follow the marginalised inhabitants of the cities, peering into gaps outside of general awareness.

Slides by Francis Alÿs showing images of the homeless reveal the true human consequences of urban development.

Despite a focus on the daily battles of metropolitan living, the exhibition centres on hope.

Often in stark contrast to the original vision, overlooked urban environments are shown as private corners of refuge, demonstrating the defiance of people against mass economic forces.

  • Open 1pm-5pm (11am-5pm Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday). Admission free.

More pictures:

A photo of a ruined house surrounded by rubble under blue lights
Greg Girard, #11 Branch Lane 22, Lane 195, Urumqi (Wulumuqi) Bei Lu (2005)© Courtesy Monte Clark Gallery, Vancouver/Toronto
A photo of a messy bedroom inside an urban house
Greg Girard, Apartment Interior, #33, Lane 42, Liling Lu (2005)© Courtesy Monte Clark Gallery, Vancouver/Toronto
A photo of tightly crammed tall flats which take on a linear appearance
Michael Wolf, a57. From Architecture of Density series (2008)© Flowers Gallery, London
A photo of a house in the countryside with rubbish and rubble strewn in front of it
Edgar Martins, Untitled (Atlanta, Georgia), C-print. From the series This is not a House (2009)© Courtesy Edgar Martins, The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK branch), The Wapping Project Bankside
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